For today’s article Cleantechies and I are willing to shed some light on an interesting initiative that comes from Seattle. Carbon Washington is a local revenue-neutral carbon tax campaign. I interviewed their team.
Three days ago, President Barack Obama began his three day visit to India where the leaders of both countries planned a series of talks that would greatly impact the futures of both nations. With that three day visit now complete, President Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh can safely
(Reuters) – India and the United States have agreed to cooperate on energy projects, including shale gas and clean energy, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and U.S. President Barack Obama told a press conference on Monday.
Sunny Milpitas, California is the newly announced home of SunPower’s first domestic manufacturing operations. Yep, you heard right. More green manufacturing jobs right here in the U.S.A. (In November, Chinese solar powerhouse Suntech announced that its first U.S. manufacturing facility would be located near Phoenix, Arizona).
SunPower’s 75-megawatt production line is expected to employ 100 by the end of the year, and spread the wealth around even more by sourcing equipment and materials from a host of other states throughout the United States. At the Vote Solar Initiative, we like to remind folks that manufacturing is only a fraction of solar’s overall job creation opportunity. In fact, about 75 percent of solar employment is related to system installation, jobs that are inherently local in the first place. Nevertheless, manufacturing is near and dear to most Americans, and this new production facility is tangible proof that the green economy has a real role to play in bringing those jobs back home — with the right policies, that is.
As was the case with Suntech’s Arizona selection, SunPower’s decision to locate manufacturing in California is a testament to the state’s market-building solar policies. And so it is appropriate that stalwart renewable energy supporter, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, joined in making the announcement. During the event, Schwarzenegger highlighted a few initiatives that have been so instrumental to the state’s new energy economy that we think they bear repeating:
On December 17th 2009 the Sapsan (Russian for Peregrine Falcon) high-speed train made its maiden voyage from Moscow to St. Petersburg in 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Nothing has ground America’s collective gears worse than losing to the “Ruskies” for the majority of the past century, so this development could provide the spark needed to ratchet up speed rail development in the United States as a matter of national pride.
When Sputnik slung Yuri Gagarin into orbit, the United States launched into the space race with the Apollo missions. America prides itself on its tech capabilities, which makes it even more puzzling why the high speed rail resistance has held out for so long and why we are behind the Russians in this regard.
The Sapsan is the latest and greatest of Russian rail, and adds to the heritage the zheleznya doroga (meaning railway, or literally “iron road”).
Wind energy could provide 20 percent of the electricity for the eastern half of the United States by 2024, but only if the nation makes a significant financial investment, according to new government report.
About $90 billion would be required to install a network of land- and sea-based wind turbines and about 22,000 miles of new power lines, according to the study published by U.S. Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The report said that the government would have to provide a significant portion of that investment through programs such as loan guarantees.
Citing the “chaotic” Copenhagen climate talks, Jonathan Pershing, the U.S.’s deputy special envoy for climate change, said the UN must relinquish the central role in future climate negotiations to major nations such as the U.S., China, and India.
Pershing, who participated in the Copenhagen talks, said in a speech in Washington that it was virtually impossible to conduct a serious negotiation with 192 nations present in Copenhagen and called for giving more power in future climate talks to the world’s major CO2 emitters.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward in regulating greenhouse gas emission in the US from both mobile sources (principally autos and trucks) and stationary sources (industrial and power generation sources). The actions taken today support EPA in regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.
[Yesterday], the US EPA Administrator signed two distinct findings regarding greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act:
Twelve years ago in Kyoto, the world was poised to act on a climate treaty but looked for a clear signal from the United States. Now, with the Copenhagen talks set to begin, the outcome once again hinges on what the U.S. is prepared to do.
President Obama took much of the drama out of the Copenhagen talks earlier this month when he and other world leaders announced that there’d be no treaty at the end — in essence, they said, we’ll wait for the U.S. Senate. Still, you can’t call off the party entirely, and so the planet’s climate scientists, bureaucrats, activists, skeptics and journalists will still descend on the Danish capital in a few days for a fortnight of meeting, marching, propounding, denying, and most of all spinning.
The first stop on the international showcase of high speed rail that I am writing for CleanTechies, will be in Germany. As much as I try to avoid writing in first-person narrative, this topic is quite close to my heart as Germany (where I lived for most of 2002-2003) is where my eyes were opened to how great public transportation can be and how it’s presence or absence severely affects quality of life.
The calamitous state of transportation in the US became apparent when I returned to my old Pennsylvanian home. Being thrust back into the car-dependent nightmare is still the source of much of my angst to this day.
Deutsch: Durch Erfahrung wird man klug.
English: Through experience man becomes clever.
Last month Thomas L. Friedman wrote in the New York Times an interesting op ed on why America should tax more gasoline. This occurs as the United States is the least forceful OECD country regarding gas tax. US drivers pay on average less than ten euro cents of tax per litre when their German, British, Italian, Turkish or French counterparts pay as much as 60 to 70 cents per litre. Even Australia does better with more than 20 cents per litre.
The situation varies from State to State with Alaska only taxing 26.4 cents per gallon of gasoline while California taxing up to 63.9 cents per gallon. Federal authorities already tax 18.4 cents per gallon for gasoline and 24.4 cents for diesel.
Since the United States’ addiction to oil is widely documented and recognized as a threat by both sides of the political spectrum, why shouldn’t it tax oil more to curb the consumption?
Did you know that America’s largest installed solar power plant is located on Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada? The 14-megawatt solar array (shown at left) went live in late 2007 and remains the largest solar power plant in the United States.
While First Solar’s recent announcement of two 250-megawatt solar power plants in California dwarfs the military’s solar array, the fact remains that for a considerable amount of time the military will have operated the largest solar array in the United States. Why would the military take this step? The answer is energy security.
Article by Michael Grabell appearing courtesy of ProPublica.
Stimulus money for transportation projects is being spent far more slowly than expected.
When the economic stimulus act passed in February, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the U.S. Department of Transportation would spend about $5 billion by the end of the fiscal year, which was Wednesday.
But Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Thursday that only $3.4 billion has been spent so far – about a third less than forecast. Rep. John Mica, the top Republican on the House transportation committee, said the spending rate was disappointing, noting that unemployment figures released today were expected to hit 9.8 percent.
The United States has entered a new energy era, ending a century of rising carbon emissions. As the U.S. delegation prepares for the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December, it does so from a surprisingly strong position, one based on a dramatic 9 percent drop in U.S. carbon emissions over the past two years and the promise of further huge reductions.
Prominent among these carbon-cutting initiatives are stronger automobile fuel-economy standards, appliance efficiency standards, and the potential to heat, cool and light buildings with carbon-free sources of electricity.
On the supply side are efforts supporting the development of U.S. wind, solar and geothermal energy resources.